Serious Game Design to Support Children Struggling with School Refusal


  • Marikken Høiseth Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Ole Andreas Alsos Department of Design, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
  • Sindre Holme Tackl, OSLO, Norway
  • Sondre Ek Department of Design, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
  • Charlotte Tendenes Gabrielsen Tananger ungdomsskole, Stavanger, Norway



Human-centered design, Children, Serious games, School refusal, Prototype, Evaluation


A significant number of children worldwide struggle with school refusal. Games and digital tools represent a novel take on how to address this phenomenon. Our research aims to support children who are at risk or in an early phase of developing school refusal through serious games. In this paper we present current work, grounded in human-centered design, involving the application of a game design framework to elaborate on design elements and empirical evaluations of a serious game called Gnist (English: Spark). Based on this we discuss some implications for game design and key takeaways for researchers and practitioners working to design technologies for supporting children's well-being in attending school. We contribute to position serious games in a new context and anticipate our findings to be valuable to the Human-Computer Interaction community in general and specifically to the Child-Computer Interaction community.




How to Cite

Høiseth, M., Alsos, O. A. ., Holme, S. . ., Ek, S. ., & Tendenes Gabrielsen, C. . (2021). Serious Game Design to Support Children Struggling with School Refusal. International Journal of Serious Games, 8(2), 109–128.